Shrinking brains

Leonardo da Vinci brain drawing

Is social media shrinking your brain?

How is your concentration lately? Are you able to stay focused on a single task for more than 10 minutes?

I find that either due to the open plan work environments, phone interruptions or email requests, such a thing is near on impossible. What’s more, if I do get more than ten minutes on any one thing, my mind is so unfamiliar with this novelty that I intentionally break up the concentration with other tasks and attempt to juggle as much as possible in a short time.

I now have a range of descriptors for my ability to manage multiple information at once. This is what multi tasking is all about, right? As women, isn’t that one of our better virtues, right?

Well actually, if you have resigned yourself to the 5-minute-thinking-grab as a way of life, like I have, it turns out that we could be in jeopardy of shrinking our brain. This applies to blokes as well as girls.  Now that is a definitely a 10 minute focus piece of information.

According to an article I read recently our fast-paced, hyper connected life style is at fault.  Our multi tasking behavior, accentuated by our online communication patterns, is deskilling our brain. (I confess that I read this online and it was in between a bunch of other things I was working on.  Oops.)

But all is not lost.  There is hope for us yet. According to this same article, it reveals that as our brain is a muscle, like any muscle, with the right work out you can develop and shape it to your liking. The trick to increase our ability to concentrate at length and reverse brain shrinkage is to do some simple activities that focus our thinking. Each time you do this you increase the length of that exercise so you build up the capacity in your brain to stay focused.

Given that the human brain has an amazing capacity to change by building new neural pathways, this solution is worth considering. We can’t stop the fast pace of our lives or our desire to use social media to communicate with the world. However, we can develop behaviours that develop new parts of our brain.  So if like me you are concerned about your over ability to multi-task, read this article, How to train your brain to stay focused, from,  and make up your mind about a new exercise regime for your brain.

By the way, no texting allowed while you are working out.

The image above is a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. I wonder what his capacity for focused thinking was?

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